Caddy vs Berlingo – which one is better for a car camping conversion?

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Can’t decide whether to get a Berlingo (and its brothers Partner, Combo etc) or a Caddy? This post will give you all the information you need to find out which one is better for you – and your microcamper conversion.

Read if you want to find out:

  • which one is better for driving – Caddy or Berlingo? Is the Caddy or Berlingo reliable?
  • which one has more room at the back? Which is longer / taller?
  • which one has more storage space?
  • which one is cheaper to drive (better consumption)?
  • which one do people convert to a car camper more often?

If you’re new here – you might want to check our best cars for car camping database. You might find there that the Caddy Maxi is our top car for car camping/sleeping in (microcamper conversions if you like). Berlingo is one of the most often converted car into camping – but how does it compare to the Caddy? (Also VW Sharan vs Caddy for car camping to see which one of those two is better).

I am comparing the MPV (not the panel van version) of Berlingo XL vs Caddy Maxi – the longer version of the car in both cases, as that’s what I would recommend for camping. More legroom or storage space.

NimbleCamper Caddy vs Berlingo comparison

Winner: Caddy Maxi

Feature
Citroen Berlingo
VW Caddy
Boot length with seats down (cm)
long 180 / van 217, short 176
(although the newer Berlingo Multispace XL from 2021 is longer – 223 cm)
225 (Maxi) and 178 (Short)
Boot width (cm)
van 123, MPV 116-120 (wheel arches)
117 (wheel arches)
Boot height (cm)
112 / van 120
126
Storage – front
3/5
5/5 if you get the roof window + storage option
4.5/5
Comfort (interior)
2.5/5
3.5/5
Comfort (driving)
2.5/5
3/5
Consumption (avg):
l/100km 6.3
MPG (US): 45
l/100km 7.4
MPG (UK): 38
12V outlets
2-4, possibly a 230V in newer models too
2
ADAC rating (lower = better)
2.5/5
2.3/5
Our overall camping rating

In this comparison of stats, the Caddy wins overall – it’s bigger than older Berlingo models and slightly bigger than newer models and has more storage (although if you get the newer Berlingo Multispace with the optional roof storage + window or the roof storage box, you’ll get about the same storage space). Berlingo is less comfortable than the Caddy, but it will save you more money on consumption.


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How are they rated on other websites?

Aggregated reviews score from various external reviews.

Winner: Citroen Berlingo XL

citroen berlingo multispace 2015 - Caddy vs Berlingo - which one is better for a car camping conversion?
Berlingo
citroen berlingo xl 2019 - Caddy vs Berlingo - which one is better for a car camping conversion?
Berlingo XL

Citroen Berlingo

77% average score of below 7 reviews

70% – 3.5/5parkers.co.uk

Hugely practical, improved quality over predecessor, economical diesels, spacious cabin. Too many items restricted to the options list, some interior plastics feel cheap

70% – 3.5/5carbuyer.co.uk

“The Citroen Berlingo Multispace won’t win any design or performance awards, but it’s a hugely practical and very affordable MPV”

80% – 4/5autoexpress.co.uk

The Berlingo keeps all of the things that made the previous model a great MPV – brilliant passenger and boot space, low running costs, great value – and improves on each even further. Crucially, it’s much better to drive than before and while it’s not quite as fun as most rival family cars, it’s refined and reasonably comfortable.

100% – 5/5whatcar.com

For the money the Citroën Berlingo offers unrivalled interior space and a relaxing ride. It’s also better-trimmed inside then the Vauxhall Combo Life and slightly nicer to drive than a Peugeot Rifter – cars that are otherwise identical. If you’re after something more car-like to drive or plusher, then it’s worth looking at the pricier VW Touran, though.

70% – 3.5/5autocar.co.uk

The Citroën Berlingo is the best of its breed: useful, well priced and not half bad to drive

80% – 8/10topgear.com

“Enormously practical and built for family life, the Berlingo does all you could realistically ask of it ”

70% – 7/10carwow.co.uk

The Citroen Berlingo majors on space and practicality, but it’s comfortable too. You’ll be disappointed if you’re after a fun drive, though, and its infotainment system is average

caddy 2021 dimensions - Caddy vs Berlingo - which one is better for a car camping conversion?
Caddy
caddy dimensions exterior
Caddy Maxi

VW Caddy Maxi

70% average score of below 7 reviews

78% – 3.9/5parkers.co.uk

The van-based people carrier with VW quality

60% – 3/5carbuyer.co.uk

A car like this tends to be bought out of necessity rather than desire, and the Volkswagen Maxi Caddy Life is a good option if you need the huge space and practicality that it offers. However, rivals are now better than ever, and the Caddy Life is no longer the best in class. The Citroen Berlingo XL, for instance, is almost as practical but features styling that’s distinctive instead of conservative. Its engines are more economical and slightly quicker, and there are more to choose from. The Volkswagen also suffers from a slightly utilitarian interior and a smaller standard kit list than newer alternatives. If you only test-drove this car you’d probably be very happy with it but we’d recommend testing some of its rivals before you make a decision.

70% – 3.5/5autoexpress.co.uk (Their website gives it a 2/5 rating, but I think this is a mistake as they rate the car around 3-4/5 in all areas, but then give it a 2/5 overall rating. Doesn’t make sense. So I made an average rating from their sub-ratings.)

The Caddy Maxi is a perfect example of how far van-based MPVs have come. It’s big, practical and surprisingly good to drive

80% – 4/5completecar.ie

If space and versatility are a priority, the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life will appeal.

60% – 6/10theaa.com

It’s impossible for the Caddy Maxi Life to completely shake off its van attributes, but Volkswagen has done a good job of turning what is essentially a commercial vehicle into a family MPV. The driving experience is enough like that of a car to make the Caddy more than acceptable to drive and decent specification and safety levels mean it can pass muster as a family vehicle. It’s highly practical, too.

80% – 8/10heycar.co.uk

For buyers who rank versatility and affordability over things like style, a van-based people carrier like the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life could be a very sensible purchase. Not only is it cheap to buy, it also has low running costs and will forever surprise you with its load-carrying abilities.

60% – 3/5honestjohn.co.uk

Sensibly priced seven-seater with enough space for seven and their luggage, huge loadspace with seats removed.
Rearmost bench seat does not fold and has to be removed to free up space, noisy on the motorway.

Which one do people convert to a small camper van more often?

Winner: Citroen Berlingo XL

This is based purely on anecdotal evidence – no hard science behind it. I base this decision on:

  1. My survey in one of the biggest Facebook groups – Small Vehicle Campers where Berlingo (and its similar cousins Kangoo, Partner) are by far the most converted cars.
  2. Berlingo being the most often used car in a majority of Instagram accounts about car camping
  3. Berlingo being the typical car that most commercial camping boxes are made for

microcampers survey favourite cars - Caddy vs Berlingo - which one is better for a car camping conversion?

Distinguishing features for camping

Berlingo XL

  • cheaper built / trim
  • rear seats fold almost flat
  • optional roof window + storage
  • optional boot above head (roof) storage drawer
  • optional tailgate window that opens
  • newer versions – side plastic bumpers
  • newer versions offer more distinctive exterior styling

Caddy Maxi

  • rear seats don’t fold flat
  • middle seats can be lifted up (the Maxi version still offers enough space for sleeping with the seats lifted, so could be easier to switch between a camper and normal use)
  • above head (roof) storage standard in all models
  • Volkswagen rates hire in safety tests (ADAC)
  • taller boot (more headroom)
  • flat panels on the sides (windows) in the boot – better for storing things when not moving

Berlingo XL vs Caddy Maxi price comparison

Both cars have various trims available, but there isn’t a big gap in their pricing. I couldn’t find any database with only the XL Berlingo prices, so the prices below include all versions. XL on its own would be a bit more expensive, but that wouldn’t change the result much – they are priced about the same.

Year
Berlingo (Short as XL wasn’t split out in the stats)
Caddy / Maxi
2020
£21,341
£19,267 / £22,496
2019
£19,505
£19,674 / £20,094
2018
£14,945
£15,065 / £19,444
2017
£12,465
£12,995 / £15,565
2016
£12,207
£11,968 / £14,018
2015
£9,180
£11,157 / £9,577
2014
£9,697
£9,530 / £10,483
source: https://www.carsite.co.uk/used-car-price-guide/volkswagen and https://www.carsite.co.uk/used-car-price-guide/citroen/berlingo

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Berlingo XL and Caddy Maxi camping conversions gallery

Verdict

These cars are very similar in terms of size or storage. Caddy has the edge here. The Berlingo will save you money in terms of consumption. But all of these are small differences. Overall, whichever car you choose will be a good camping car – they both offer plenty of room and most of what you need for a camping conversion.

Therefore the decision on which one to get for a camping conversion can be based primarily on how you feel about each brand and each car’s specific features. I would recommend testing both at a used car dealer – taking them for a ride and checking the boot with camping in mind, before deciding.

One final note – the newer the Berlingo, the better it is in terms of trim, style and storage options. Older Berlingos are worse than the Caddy, newer could even be better in some areas.

If you are thinking about buying a camping box or getting your car professionally converted – most companies have good options/availability for both cars.

Check out our full Caddy Maxi and Berlingo Car Camping review for more details:

Other useful comparisons:

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